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We Need To Crush Trump's Big Lie To Prevent More MAGA Violence

Submitted by Robin Messing on Fri, 11/04/2022 - 3:25pm

We now know that David DePape is a MAGA terrorist whose goal to cripple Nancy Pelosi was motivated by Donald Trump's Big Lie about election fraud. Don't take my word for it. He told us this himself. This is from the criminal complaint filed against him.

DEPAPE stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If Nancy were to tell DEPAPE the truth, he would let her go, and if she lied, he was going to break her kneecaps. DEPAPE was certain that Nancy would not have told the truth. In the course of the interview, DEPAPE articulated he viewed Nancy as the leader of the pack of lies told by the Democratic Party. DEPAPE also later explained that by breaking Nancy's kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions. DEPAPE also explained generally that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DEPAPE. . . .

 

DEPAPE remembered thinking that there was no way the police were going to forget about the phone call. DEPAPE explained that he did not leave after Pelosi's call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender. DEPAPE reiterated this sentiment elsewhere in the interview. . . .

DEPAPE stated that he pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and swung the hammer towards Pelosi. DEPAPE explained that Pelosi's actions resulted in Pelosi taking the punishment instead.

 

This confirms earlier reports that DePape's daughter said that DePape was indeed the author of a far right-wing QAnon-type blog that, among other things, claimed that "Either Q is Trump himself or Q is the deep state moles within Trumps inner circle."

This makes it all the more important to debunk Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. It has been debunked by others before, but a more comprehensive debunking is needed--a debunking that looks at the events before the election--and I mean WAY before the election, back to 2016, and even back to 2012--as well as events that took place up to January 6. We need to look at Trump's history, what his advisors told Trump after the election, what Steve Bannon predicted would happen on election day, the lawsuits filed by voting machine companies in response to those spreading Trump's Big Lie, and a follow-the-money reward that proved there were millions of illegal voters--or was that just five? Here are the top dirty dozen reasons proving that not only was Trump's cry of a stolen election false, Trump and his associates knew they were false, and Trump planned well in advance to steal the election from Joe Biden if Biden won. This list is by no means complete.

  1.  Donald Trump has a long history of crying “election fraud” or “rigged election.”  In 2012 Trump tweeted that Barak Obama was stealing the election from Mitt Romney. Roger Stone built a Stopthesteal.org website for the Trump campaign in March 2016. He used that website to accuse Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and Mitch McConnell of trying to steal the Republican Primary from him.  In April 2016, Stone, acting as Trump's proxy, told Breitbart News that Ted Cruz should be put in handcuffs for election fraud. After Trump won the primary he predicted that Hillary Clinton would steal the presidency from him. And between May 2020 and November 2020, Trump said at least a half a dozen times that Joe Biden was rigging the election against him. In fact, on August 17, 2020, Trump said, “the only way we're going to lose the election is if the election is rigged.”  Joe Biden was leading Trump in national polls by 8.4 points when he said this. This just proves that Trump was going to cry “election fraud”, no matter who he was running against and no matter how much he was beaten by. He was grooming the public before the election to accept his claim after the election that the election was rigged. (See Trump's Claims of a Rigged Election Is Nothing New. It Is His Modus Operandi for more detail.)
  2. Donald Trump was told some variation of “You lost” or “Your claims of fraud are not supported by the evidence” by at least four, and probably six, White House and campaign officials. Several other high level White House and campaign officials also came to the same conclusion, but we do not know if they told Trump that he had lost. Click on the links to watch their testimony.
    1. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (1:10:18 -  1:10:57) (Rosen talked directly to Trump)
    2. Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue (1:14:54 - 1:18:04(Donoghue talked directly to Trump)
    3. Former Counselor to the President Derek Lyons said he was in a meeting where White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Eric Herschmann told Trump that a number of allegations had not been substantiated enough to be the basis of litigation to challenge the election. (1:10:57 - 1:11:35) (Cippolone and Herschmann talked directly to Trump according to Lyons)
    4. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told Trump on November 7 that he thought the odds of victory were "very, very, very bleak" He thought that the odds of a Trump victory was only five to ten percent. (41:03 - 43:03) (Stepien talked directly to the President)
    5. Matt Morgan, the General Counsel of the Trump campaign, talked about a January 2, 2021 meeting among Mike Pence's staff in which he, Marc Short ( Mike Pence's Chief of Staff), and Greg Jacob (Mike Pence's Chief Counsel) agreed that there were not enough election irregularites to change the outcome of the election. (10:00 - 11:08). (I do not know if they told Trump this directly. We can only presume that he heard about their conclusion.)
    6. Trump’s former Attorney General, Bill Barr told him that his claim of a stolen election was “Bullshit.” (53:17 - 53:35) (Watch also 54:28 - 1:10:01 for an in-depth look of Barr's interactions with President Trump, particularly on November 23, December 1, and December 14 where Barr tried to convince Trump that there was no evidence of enough fraud to change the election.) (Barr told Trump this directly)
    7. In addition, Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon told Peter Navarro and Mike Pence (1:11:33 - 1:14:38) as well as Mark Meadows (34:35 - 35:39) that he wasn't able to find significant problems with the election. Cannon said that Meadows responded to that news by saying, "So there's no there there?"  (We can only presume that either Navarro, Pence, or Meadows told Trump what Cannon had told them.)
  3. Chris Krebs was appointed by Donald Trump to lead the Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Krebs said the election was the most secure in U.S. history. Watch 60 Minutes interview with Krebs. (See also the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council's November 12, 2020 statement.) Krebs based his conclusion in part on the fact that Georgia did a recount of every ballot by hand, and the number of votes in the recount matched very closely with the number tallied by the election machines.

 

  1. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s assistant, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified before the January 6th Committee that Meadows had told her that Trump really thought he lost, but wanted to keep fighting to overturn the election. Trump’s Communications Director, Alyssa Farah (Griffin) testified that Trump acknowledged in private that he had lost to Biden. And Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley said he was in a meeting where either Trump or Mike Pompeo said that Trump had lost. See 46:32 - 47:38 of the following video

 

 

  1. Cassidy Hutchinson also testified that Mark Meadows said that Donald Trump didn’t think the January 6 rioters were doing anything wrong when they were chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” Meadows said Trump thought Pence deserved it for not preventing Biden from becoming President. This shows how desperate Trump was to remain President. Watch 1:29:15 -  1:32:21

  1. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by almost 2.9 million votes in 2016. Trump claimed he would have won the popular vote, ““if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”. He set up a Presidential Commission to uncover the voter fraud that he claimed cost him nearly 3 million votes, but the Commission disbanded without finding widespread fraud.
  2. Texas’s Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick offered a reward for $25,000 to $1 million to anyone who could prove voter fraud in the 2020 election. If nearly 3 million people really did vote fraudulently in 2016 and if a similar number voted fraudulently in 2020, then you’d expect thousands of people to step forward in 2020 to claim the reward. Pennsylvania poll worker Eric Frank collected a reward for $25,000 after turning in a Republican who voted twice for Trump in Pennsylvania. John Fetterman reported that he had found FIVE cases of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, but Patrick refused to pay Fetterman any reward money. No one other than Frank and Fetterman has come forth to claim Patrick’s reward.

 

 

  1. Team Trump and its supporters filed 62 lawsuits in court contesting the 2020 election. They lost all but one minor lawsuit, and the lawsuit did not affect the outcome of the election. Watch the testimony of Ben Ginsberg, one of the country's most prominent election lawyers, and Representative Zoe Lofgren's commentary on his testimony from 1:48:29 – 1:56:58.  Ginsberg notes that though half of the 62 cases were thrown out for procedural reasons like lack of standing, half of them were heard and judged on their merits.

 

     Lofgren presented the following graphic that summarized these cases.

 

 

  1. White House lawyer John Eastman wrote a plan for Mike Pence to overturn the election by thwarting the counting of the electoral votes. The January 6th Committee subpoenaed a third party to obtain Eastman's emails, but Eastman contested the subpoena in court by claiming attorney-client and work product privileges. Judge David O. Carter had determined in a previous proceeding that "it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021" and that Trump and Eastman had more likely than not entered into a conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering with the election certification process. Judge Carter now used this ruling to determine that eight of Eastman's emails should be turned over to the Committee because they fell within the crime-fraud exception. He based his ruling on four of these emails on the fact that Trump had submitted claims to a court under oath that he knew were false. (See pages 16 - 17 of his order)

 

On December 4, 2020, President Trump and his attorneys alleged in a Georgia state court action that Fulton County improperly counted a number of votes including 10,315 deceased people, 2,560 felons, and 2,423 unregistered voters. President Trump and his attorneys then decided to contest the state court proceeding in federal court, and discussed incorporating by reference the voter fraud numbers alleged in the state petition. On December 30, 2020, Dr. Eastman relayed “concerns” from President Trump’s team “about including specific numbers in the paragraph dealing with felons, deceased, moved, etc.” The attorneys continued to discuss the President’s resistance to signing “when specific numbers were included.” As Dr. Eastman explained the next day:

 

Although the President signed a verification for [the state court filing] back on Dec. 1, he has since been made aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts) has been inaccurate. For him to sign a new verification with that knowledge (and incorporation by reference) would not be accurate.

President Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed the complaint with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise changing them.  President Trump, moreover, signed a verification swearing under oath that the incorporated, inaccurate numbers “are true and correct” or “believed to be true and correct” to the best of his knowledge and belief.

The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public. The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.

You can read the emails that Judge Carter ordered released to the January 6th Committee at Politico.

 

  1. Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and other Trump lawyers and associates went on Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax and claimed that Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic voting machines were either not counting Trump votes, flipping votes from Trump to Biden, or weighting Biden votes more heavily than Trump votes. Donald Trump has repeated these claims constantly and they have echoed continuously throughout the right-wing infosphere. Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are fighting back against these lies through a series of billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Giuliani, Powell, Fox News and others. (Business Insider has compiled a list of everyone Dominion and Smartmatic are suing.) Defamation lawsuits like these are among the hardest lawsuits to win. Dominion and Smartmatic will have to do more than prove the claims that were made about their machines are false. They will also have to prove that those making these claims either knew that they are lying or had substantial doubt about the truthfulness of those claims. I have read several of Smartmatic and Dominion's complaints and they look strong--especially Dominion's complaint against Sidney Powell. I invite you to read pages 36 - 39 of that complaint. It looks like Dominion caught either Powell or someone working with Powell submitting a doctored certificate as evidence in one of the 62 lawsuits contesting the election. Dominion and Smartmatic's lawsuits look strong to me, but what do I know? I am not a lawyer. I highly recommend watching all of this 60 Minutes segment on Dominion Voting Systems, but pay extra close attention starting from 10:01 -  12:42. You will see Lee Levine, a First Amendment lawyer with 40 years experience, state that he thinks Dominion's lawsuits against Fox and the others may be the strongest lawsuits he has ever seen. That's saying a lot considering that Levine has litigated hundreds of defamation cases and states that he is aware of "every significant defamation case in the last forty years."

 

 

  1. Several of Trump associates and members of Vice President Pence's staff were aware before election day of Trump's plan to declare himself the winner of the election before all the votes had been counted. There is a even a leaked audio from October 31, 2020 in which Steve Bannon said that Donald Trump was going to declare victory on election night—even if he was losing. (watch 32:28 - 40:15)

  1. An all-star team of conservative lawyers and election experts published a 72-page report entitled “Lost, Not Stolen”. This report thoroughly debunked all the widely circulating lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election that were spread by Donald Trump and his supporters. The report is long, but the introduction summarized its key finding in two sentences on page 1.

 

. . . there is absolutely no evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election on the magnitude necessary to shift the result in any state, let alone the nation as a whole. In fact, there was no fraud that changed the outcome in even a single precinct.” 

 

       No doubt Trump supporters will want to dismiss the report by claiming it was written by a bunch of liberals who were out to get Trump. That is not what the libertarian Cato Institute says about its authors.

 

The new report’s signers include three prominent retired federal judges (Thomas Griffith, Mike McConnell, Michael Luttig), former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg, former senators John Danforth and Gordon Smith, and longtime Congressional staff chief David Hoppe. I should mention that I have known three of these figures at various times over decades (McConnell, Ted Olson, Hoppe) and admired each for their insight, analytical skills, and dedication to principle.

 

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT 2000 Mules????

 

Those trying to defend Trump's Big Lie will inevitably point to the movie 2000 Mules as evidence that PROVES there were thousands of people (known as mules) who illegally gathered ballots collected by leftist non-government organizations and then deposited them in multiple ballot boxes. This movie was produced by Dinesh D'Souza and revolves around claims by True the Vote leaders Gregg Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht. They claim that geolocation data collected from millions of cell phones combined with video evidence proves their claim of massive ballot harvesting election fraud.

This is a topic worthy of an entire column, but we'll just have to settle for a QUICK beatdown of this claim.

  1. Bill Barr laughed about the 2000 Mules movie and told the January 6th Committee why he was unimpressed by it. Watch between 1:06:40 and 1:09:26.

  1. Dinesh D'Souza pled guilty to the felony of campaign finance fraud in 2014. He was sentenced to five years of probation with 8 months to be served in a community confinement center. He was pardoned by Donald Trump in 2018. It is therefore not surprising that he would do a favor for Trump by producing this movie. (I am not claiming anyone on Team Trump asked him to make the movie. But it would not be surprising if he felt gratitude towards Trump and wanted to pay him back.)
  2. 2000 Mules has already been debunked by the Washington Post here and here and here and here. Reuters debunked it here. NPR also debunked the movie, including its claim that its geolocation data was so accurate that it helped authorities solve a murder case. In reality, the authorities had indicted two suspects two months before anyone from True the Vote had contacted them. (And that is assuming Engelbrecht and Philliips were telling the truth when they claimed they had contacted law enforcement officials about the murder. NPR could not substantiate that claim.)
  3. The Texas Monthly not only debunked the movie, it exposed Phillips' and Engelbrecht's long history of conflicts of interest, corruption, incompetence, and profiteering over false claims of voter fraud.
  4. Regnery had just published a book by D'Souza that supplemented the movie by adding even more information than had been provided in the movie. However, Regnery unexpectedly recalled the book just as it was hitting store shelves. NPR reporter Tom Dreisbach got his hands on one of the few versions of the book that had escaped the recall and compared it with the version that was released two months later. The original version named specific nonprofit organizations that it had accused of ballot harvesting. The second version softened its accusations and did not name any specific organizations. Apparently, Regnery issued the recall after its lawyers became spooked by the possibility that the book would open the publishers to defamation lawsuits.
  5. It turns out, Regnery had good reason to fear defamation lawsuits. Mark Andrews was falsely accused by the movie of being a mule after depositing five ballots for himself and his family in a drop box in Georgia. You can read his complaint against D'Souza, True the Vote, Engelbrecht, Phillips, and others here.
  6. Engelbrecht and Phillips publicly claimed to have given law enforcement officials a hard drive with data backing their claims of illegal ballot harvesting, and they used that claim to raise a considerable amount of money.  Arizona's Attorney General's office (run by REPUBLICAN Mark Brnovich) tried repeatedly to get the evidence that Engelbrecht and Phillips had promised them. They gave the AG's office the runaround and the office wrote the IRS suggesting they investigate True the Vote's status as a nonprofit organization. You can read the letter from the Arizona Attorney General's office here.
  7. Finally, a bit of common-sense logic should persuade you that 2000 Mules is nothing but a money-making scam. You cannot see 2000 Mules online without shelling out $19.99If D'Souza REALLY had the goods to prove the Democrats stole the election, he wouldn't be charging money for it. If he had the goods, then he would do one of two things.
    1. Either he would make it available for free so that EVERYONE could see his evidence. This would boost his popularity even more with Trump and his supporters.
    2. OR he would sell the rights to the movie to Trump, and Trump and the Republicans would show it for free. Donald Trump claims to be a billionaire. He has LOTS of billionaire and hundred-millionaire friends. If Trump couldn't afford to buy the rights to the movie, then Kanye or someone else could do it for him.  And you can bet Trump and his supporters would include a link to the movie in every fundraising email they sent out and would advertise where it was available at every Trump rally. That link would be blasted all over Facebook and Twitter, and it would be posted by Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, and every other right-wing website as well. But D’Souza would apparently rather have his video hide behind a paywall where only the die-hard MAGA folks who are willing to shell out their money will see it.

If you still believe 2000 Mules provides proof of voter fraud, then you have fewer critical thinking skills than a meth-addicted amoeba swimming in a vat of vodka. I suggest you hop on over to Amazon.com and buy a book that will help you.


Hat Tip to Paola Poot (@PootDibou). She tipped me off to the great Texas Monthly article about Engelbrecht and Phillips that I cited in the fourth bullet point above. She is incredibly knowledgeable about D'Souza, True the Vote, and other election related issues. I recommend following her on Twitter if you want to keep up with this topic. I also recommend following @ABetterWorld17486320 on Twitter since they are very knowledgeable as well.

 

Update:11/6/22: I had written that "Richard Barr" was the former Attroney General in point 2f. I had just watched a clip of Richard Donoghue and I must have had a brain fart when I wrote "Richard" instead of Bill. Hat tip to @PanamStyle for pointing this out to me. Also, hat tip to @ShoalBear for pointing out that I had originally written that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by by almost 2.9 million votes. Of course I meant it the other way around. Thank you both for pointing out my mistakes so that I could correct them.